Home » Governance » MPs to Forfeit Allowances

Members of Parliament who will get vehicles under a Parliamentary loan scheme will not be paid sitting allowances for the next four years with the benefits being used to liquidate the US$35 000 debts.

Some 290 MPs who are not ministers will get brand new all-terrain cars under the deal reached last week between Parliament and local motor vehicle dealer, Croco Motors.

Under the deal, Government is expected to clear the US$10 million debt in eight months, while MPs are to pay back to the State for the duration of their tenure to 2018.

Government decided to use the MPs’ sitting allowances to liquidate the loan for the next four years.

Chairperson of a sub-committee of Parliament’s Standing Orders and Rules Committee responsible for Welfare of MPs and Staff, Cde Joram Gumbo (ZANU-PF), confirmed the development on Tuesday.

“It is true that MPs will not be receiving their sitting allowances as the money will be used to liquidate their car loans,” he said.

“As you may be aware, there are some MPs who are also owed from the Seventh Parliament and this Eighth Parliament as well because Treasury has not been paying the allowances.

“Those outstanding allowances and future sitting allowances in the next four years will be clearing the vehicle debt. This arrangement will remove pressure from Government and the MPs.”

This effectively means that while MPs were not receiving allowances for attending Parliamentary business, now Government will pay them indirectly by buying cars.

The arrangement will result in MPs getting just over US$800 as monthly salary, and fuel coupons for travelling to and from their constituencies to Harare on Parliamentary business.

“They will have to attend both committees and House sittings because if they do not do that then the money will be taken from their salaries,” said Cde Gumbo, who is also ZANU-PF’s Chief Whip.

It is likely that some MPs with outstanding allowances from the Seventh Parliament will liquidate the loan before their tenure lapses, meaning they would then be entitled to receive allowances at some point.

For those who have not missed a single House sitting, it means as of now they are owed by Government.

However, ZANU-PF legislator for Hurungwe West Cde Temba Mliswa took a swipe at Government for buying cars from a private company instead of capacitating the State-linked Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries.

Cde Mliswa told The Herald that Government was at the forefront of neglecting the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation through such a decision.

WMMI recently said if adequately supported by Government, it had capacity to produce vehicles that meet local market requirements.

Source : The Herald